When those rejections come rollin’ in (and they do – we just hope that they come mixed in with requests) it’s really easy to get stuck on WHY. But dissecting a form rejection is fruitless, and just a tad crazy.
So here are some questions you can ask instead.
WHO – are your beta readers. While your mother, your best friend, and even your high school students may not pull any punches, they also are more likely to “get” you. They know your sense of humor, and they’re already used to the way you phrase things. Get people you aren’t close with. They’ll know if your jokes fall flat or if your voice is off.
WHAT – are you sending out. Are you following query instructions? Does your query look professional?
WHEN – will the first draft of your next book be done? You’ve started it, right? Focusing on increasing the word count of your other projects is a nice way to dilute obsessive thoughts.
WHERE – are you sending your queries? Did you check them out on P&E and the AW Bewares thread? You did put in a lot of work on your baby – make sure you’re trying to get it into the right hands.
HOW – can you improve? If you’re lucky enough to get non-form rejections, they can contain valuable advice and commentary for the next time around. You also might get a better sense of which agents to query in the future.
Thoughts? Other questions? Comments!